The Canterbury Tales

by Chaucer

Estates Satire:

Fabliaux (see the Miller's Tale and the Reeve's Tale)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What season is described in the opening passage of The Canterbury Tales? What do people especially want to do when this season comes, according to the narrator?
  2. Consider the Miller's Tale as a satire of courtly love.
  3. How is Alison (Miller's Tale) described? What type of imagery is used?
  4. Does Chaucer seem sympathetic to Alison's unhappiness with her husband?
  5. Discuss the three men in the Miller's Tale. Do any of them seem sympathetic or admirable? what do you make of the "punishment" each man receives?
  6. In the Reeve's Tale, does Chaucer seem sympathetic to the Reeve? Why or why not?
  7. Discuss the women's attitudes toward the night's sex romp in the Reeve's Tale.
  8. Discuss the anti-Semitism that is evident in the Prioress' Tale.